Takaaki Nakagami produced a brilliant ride to take fifth place at the Italian Grand Prix, his best-ever finish in the MotoGP class. Starting from tenth on the grid, the LCR Honda IDEMITSU star was composed and consistent throughout as he finished as the top independent rider on a memorable day at Mugello.
Having struggled with his starts in previous rounds, Taka made a good getaway on Sunday as he moved into sixth position by the first corner. He remained part of the leading group for much of the race, before a group of four riders pulled clear at the front. But the LCR man showed impressive speed to move past his rivals in the battle for fifth and held that position to claim the most notable result of his career so far.
Takaaki Nakagami: “It was an amazing day and an amazing race. I was really strong from the start and I know that this is a weak point for me. In all the races after a couple of laps I’ve dropped positions and then fight back in the middle and at the end. But today, I was really strong at the beginning of the race and then tried to keep the position. At the end I knew that (Maverick) Vinales was really pushing hard, but I never gave up and fought hard. It’s the best result for me, I was the second Honda and fifth place is amazing. I didn’t expect it, it’s a fantastic weekend for me and I want to thank the team who did a really great job all weekend, the bike worked really well.”